MIAMI – Forward Antoine Walker, arguably the best free agent remaining on the market, met with Heat president Pat Riley on Wednesday.

It was a preliminary meeting to gauge any potential interest in the nine-year veteran who has received some inquiries from several teams. Walker’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, was not part of the meeting.

Acquiring Walker, who made $14.6 million last year while playing with the Hawks and Celtics, would likely require signing him to a contract beginning at the full mid-level exception, or convincing the Celtics to execute a sign-and-trade deal.

Walker’s addition, however, is unlikely given the Heat’s current needs.

The Heat is looking for an offensive boost off the bench, preferably from a big man. Walker, however, is still considered a starter and takes a large share of his team’s shots.

Walker, 28, averaged 19.1 points and 9.0 rebounds between the Hawks and Celtics last season but shot just 42 percent and was ninth in the league in field goals attempted.

As a member of the Heat, Walker would have to accept a lesser role on a championship-caliber team, a la Bob McAdoo with the Lakers in the 1980s, and the Heat would have to be convinced Walker is prepared for such a role.


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